The Boo Radleys – Ichabod and I

The Boo Radley’s debut album, not revered by many.  Weighing in at just under 30 minutes long, only 500 were released in 1990 on Action Label.  Sounding very grungey and no suggestion of any influence from the 60s or Love, Forever Changes; which was a major part of the follow up Everything’s Alright Forever.

Kaleidoscope is probably the best track on here with shoegaze leanings. Sice’s vocals are at the forefront, which is very rare on this album. Walking 5th Carnival shows promise, but there is a really heavy guitar chorus that sounds quite sloppy.  It is not as good as their later work, but well worth a listen.

Boo Radleys : Ichabod and I

Eleanor Everthing
Bodenheim Jr.
Catweazle
Sweet Salad Birth
Hip Clown Rag
Walking 5th Carnival
Kaleidoscope
Happens To Us All

The Boo Radleys – Giant Steps

Giant Steps their third release was by comparison with Everything’s Alright Forever under produced.   Despite being named after a John Coltane masterpiece, it has a simple sixties  pop record sound surrounded with walls of sound. Within these walls of sound are many other instruments that crop up in this album; cello, trumpet, clarinet and flugelhorn.  Once again Love’s Forever Changes has clearly influenced this album, but they nod to Sgt Pepper in songs like Thinking of Ways.

There are many styles embraced in this album.  Yet each style is given the Boo Radley treatment.  The pop moments are, I Hang Suspended and Wish I was Skinny.

It has their greatest single included Lazarus, a shortened version unfortunately. This is a BIG song, the guitars, the brass and the wall of sound.  This has the most obvious dub line in the album, but if you listen carefully the dub beat crops up throughout the album, notably in Upon 9th and Fairchild.

Leaves and Sand sees The Boo Radleys step into washes of noisy distorted guitars.  The same can be said of Run My Way Runaway, which I believe to be heavily influenced by Miles Davis.  The way it is arranged it has free jazz elements mixed with psychedelia .

For many this is the pinnacle of The Boo Radleys work.  It would of been my favourite, had it come out in 1992.  I prefer Everything’s Alright Forever because it was my introduction to The Boo Radleys and it came out in the best year for music.

The Boo Radleys : Giant Steps

I Hang Suspended
Upon 9th & Fairchild
Wish I Was Skinny
Leaves And Sand
Butterfly McQueen
Rodney King (Song For Lenny Bruce)
Thinking Of Ways
Barney (…And Me)
Spun Around
If You Want It, Take It
Best Lose The Fear
Take The Time Around
Lazarus
One Is For
Run My Way Runway
I’ve Lost The Reason
The White Noise Revisited

The Boo Radleys – Everything’s Alright Forever

They sat at the fringes of indiedom for years, only known to a few listeners of the John Peel show. There first album was the very low key Ichabod and I, released on the obscure ‘Action’ label.  After settling at Creation Records who nick named them as the Do Badleys, they released what I believe was their best album, Everything’s Alright Forever

It is a psychedelic blissed-out shoegazer classic, we fondly called it ‘Everything’s Alright when you had a shed load’. Saturated in fuzzy guitars a work of genius. It is the sort of record that you can have very long discussions about, such is the depth of the songs.

It draws up many influences and adds their own experimentation.  Does This Hurt? combines manic drumming, feedback and choirboy vocals.  Lazy Days has rapid acoustic strumming, but as with most of the songs on the album, it changes speed at least three times.

The Boo Radleys : Everything’s Alright Forever

Spaniard
Towards The Light
Losing It (Song for Abigail)
Memory Babe
Skyscraper
I Feel Nothing
Room At The Top
Does This Hurt?
Sparrow
Smile Fades Fast
Firesky
Song For The Morning To Sing
Lazy Day
Paradise

The Boo Radleys – Boo Up! EP

Another fine early EP by the Boo Radleys. From the halcyon era of all things shoegazing, which is around September 1991.  There is an acoustic opener Everybird, which is similar to Spaniard  but then has a heavily distorted guitar roar in parts that is more Towards the Light.  Sometime Soon She Said is more guitar shredding action.  My favourite on the EP is the third song, Fosters Van there is a bit of My Bloody Valentineseque reverse reverb on this.  It does sound like My Bloody Valentine with audible lyrics.  The EP finishes with Song for Up which is an upbeat tune, that stretches into a longer instrumental

The Boo Radleys : Boo Up! EP    

Everybird
Sometime Soon She Said
Foster’s Van
Song For Up!